Inside the depths of an industrial unit in Meanwood last week the North Star Micro-Roasters Latte Art Throwdown took place.
Opening only in October last year, the roasters have gained great support in Leeds as well as further across the country. These boys are at the heart of embracing coffee in its true form and at the forefront of the coffee revival.
With Leeds being a hub for great independent cafes and exceptionally good barista's it seemed about time to have an event centred around coffee.
Taking part in the throwdown were 20 barista's from Froth and Fodder, La Bottega Milanese, Cielo, Mrs Atha's, Notes, Bean and Bud, Upshot Espresso, Crema Espresso, Grumpy Mule, Baltzersens and North Star Micro-Roasters themselves.
A table adorned with food provided by local independent producers was also on offer. Spoilt by the delicious bread from Leeds Bread Co-op, red onion chutney from Made by Jim, platters of cold meats and cheese from Baltzersens and the BEST brownies you'll ever taste (you can hold me to that) from Noisette Bakehouse.
Now back to the competition... what is a Latte Art Throwdown I might hear you say?
The competition was based around creating the perfect latte, with three rounds judged by the crem de la crem of the Leeds coffee scene: Carl from Laynes Espresso, Adam from Opposite and Krag from North Star Micro Roasters.
The latte's were judged on four criteria: balance and symmetry; colour definition; use of space; and the overall pour.
As twenty nervous barista's took centre stage, we watched and were highly impressed by the quality of the lattes produced under pressure - no shaky hands here! Perfectly textured milk and immaculate rosetta's were being churned out left, right and centre.
After three knockout rounds, the winner was announced and Oakley from Crema Espresso was crowned Latte Art King.
It was a really interesting event and great to see so many people passionate about coffee. I don't think I'll be setting foot in Costa any time soon and pledge for you to do the same.
Support your local coffee community and join the resistance!
Thank you to the lovely Diane from A Tale of Two Sittings for letting me use her wonderful photos.